So You’ve got an Ugly Fridge?

What now?!

When you really stop and think about it, who really has an attractive fridge? Unless it’s covered in custom cabinetry, it’s basically just a shiny (or not shiny), enormous humming box that takes up a lot of space in your kitchen.

It’s a bit of a sickening feeling to know that we actually purchased the 20-year-old fridge that came with our new home.  The kitchen was already an orange-glowing eyesore, then add in the white fridge that lost one of its handles years ago, along with its rust spots, dents, and scrapes from years of neglect…yep, I’ve got an ugly fridge on my hands.

When we first saw the apartment, the broker was quick to point out that the building was offering a discount price for new energy efficient fridges for the whole building. That sounded awesome! Let’s replace that sucker with some shiny stainless steel and we won’t even notice the rest of the hideous kitchen anymore! (Right?!)

Instead we waited 10 months for discount pricing to be officially offered, 5 months to find out that we finally had enough buyers to qualify for the discount, then another 2 months for delivery (oh the joys of NYC). Meanwhile my ugly white fridge sat and stared at me daily.

So what are your options in dealing with an ugly fridge in your kitchen? I’m glad you asked. :)

As an owner, you’ve got lots of options:

  1. Buy a new fridge.
  2. Don’t have the funds to replace it just yet? Why not, paint it?!
  3. (check out all the temporary options below as well!)

As a renter, your options require a little more creativity,  but your quest is not hopeless!

  1. Add a Decal
  2. Wallpaper your fridge (with temporary wallpaper – of course)
  3. Order a custom magnet
  4. Make a custom frame for your fridge
  5. Go Crazy with Washi Tape!

Check out these photos for more specific ideas and inspiration for giving your fridge a facelift!

OPTION 1: Owners only

Paint the fridge:


I found this option on But First Comes Love and I thought it was such a fun idea! After all, I already HAD chalkboard paint leftover from my front door! But…the rest of my kitchen was still sporting that oddly orange oak (Halloween kitchen anyone?), and the fridge and the front door would be right next to each other…with the exact same paint. Not ideal.


Pocketful of Pretty used white paint to create a chevron pattern on her black fridge. it really makes her kitchen pop!

OPTION 2: Owners and Renters!

Add a Decal


Even though this fridge is clearly outdated, I love the whimsical dandelion detail that makes it more of a feature and less of an eyesore.

OR: Add lots of decals!


This fridge is so cute and clever with its DIY contact paper decals!

OPTION 3: Renters and Owners

Wallpaper your Fridge


Renters can use temporary wallpaper, and owners can any wallpaper they like! You could also use contact paper for a similar result! I found this inspiration at

OPTION 4: Renters and Owners

Add a Custom Magnet


Make your fridge pop with a vintage print.


A seasonal fridge, perhaps?


Solid Navy is Classy!


Stainless Steel Magnets too!

All of these fridge magnets are from You can order magnets to fit every fridge and even get magnetic covers for your dishwasher! There are lots of other fridge magnet manufacturers out there too! Just google it!

OPTION 5: Renters and Owners

Make your Fridge a Custom Framed Chalkboard/Bulletin Board


Cottage 4C created a chalkboard fridge without permanently painting her whole appliance! It almost looks like custom cabinetry.

I’ve also seen someone create a custom framed bulletin board which they added to their fridge with magnets. But that’s a lot of work just to add a surface that allows things to be pinned to it, when you already had a magnetic surface to start with.

I like the idea of classy fridge frames that don’t cover the entire fridge front here too!


OPTION 6: Renters and Owners

Washi tape your Fridge


Because who doesn’t love some washi tape?! The ladies at This Old Apartment agree.

As you can see, there are a LOT of options out there for renters and owners alike! In my opinion, your fridge’s appearance can make a big impact on your kitchen. With the most expensive option at 89 dollars (for the custom fridge magnets) updating your fridge seems like a wonderfully inexpensive way to brighten up your eating space!

I’m feeling pretty inspired to go revamp someone’s fridge right now (any takers?!). Hope you’re inspired too!

Spoiler: I finally got my stainless steel beauty…but I’m thinking some temporary washi tape stripes wouldn’t be the worst idea…maybe just for the holidays? (See yesterday’s post – NOT gonna happen). 

One thought on “So You’ve got an Ugly Fridge?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s